Posts

Do I Need to Make up My Missed Obligatory Fasts or Is an Expiatory Payment a Valid Option?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalaamu-alaykum wa rahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

Due to personal circumstances I have been finding it difficult to make up my missed obligatory fasts from Ramadhan. Will expiatory payments (fidya) be a valid option for me?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

May Allah Most High grant you strength and facilitation.

The upshot is that you need to make up (qada’) these fasts, and making expiatory payments (fidya) will not suffice to lift the duty.

My advice would be to use some of the blessed days of the year to fast, intending therein to seek Allah Most High by (1) fulfilling what is due from you, (2) benefiting from the blessings of those days, and (3) increasing in gratitude for the blessing of being able to fast. Such days include the tenth Muharram, the day of `Ashura, the six days of Shawwal, the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijjah, notwithstanding recurring blessings such as, the white days, Mondays and Thursdays and a number of other occasions.

Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah) [see: How Does One Perform the Prayer of Need (salat al haja)], and ask for facilitation and success. And remember that the shorter days of Winter are fast approaching, and you could do worse than benefiting from them.

Please also see: Fasting Six Days of Shawwal- Ruling Whether Consecutive Combining Intentions, Wisdoms and What if Unable to Fast-Faraz Rabbani and: The Complete Guide to Fasting and: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Dua

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

In Need of Asthma Medication: Is My Fast Broken?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As Salaamu Alaikum.
My asthma has flared up this Ramadan. I use inhalers every 4 to 6 hours. Is my fast broken even though they are inhaled? I have a persistent cough if I don’t use them.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Using an inhaler will invalidate the fast.
Consult a doctor regarding any alternative medication that you can take outside the fasting hours.
If your cough is unduly difficult to bear, and there is no alternative, you can make up the broken fasts at a later date: as such, begin the fast, whilst taking the suitable means, and then break it if you face undue hardship.
Please see also:Does Using an Asthma Pipe Invalidate the Fast? and: The Complete Guide to Fasting and Ramadan
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Making up Fasts Broken by Intercourse or Eating After Thinking the Fast Was Broken

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaikum,

 During Ramadan, a couple had sexual intercourse several times on several days while fasting.
 They also missed several Ramadan fast intentionally without a valid reason.
 Also a few times they thought that their fasting was broken due to bleeding and thus started eating.
 The couple realizes that they have to fast 60 days consecutively +1 day, but how many in total do they have to do?
 The husband is healthy and is capable, however the wife is very weak in health, occasionally faints, is low in iron, etc.
 Please give a detailed solution for both.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

[1] They should sincerely repent from their actions. See: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

[2] They need to perform one expiation (kaffarah) each. See: The Expiation (Kaffara) for Having Sex While Fasting

[3] And make up each day they invalidated their fast– by intercourse or eating after thinking their fast had been invalidated– or any day they simply did not fast. See also: Is Expiation (kaffara) Necessary For Not Fasting in Ramadan?

If they cannot remember the exact number of days they invalidated their fast, they should make a reasonable, yet safe estimate, and make up that number.

And also see: Years of Missed Fasts and Expiation (kaffara) and: How Many Expiations Are Required For Multiple Broken Fasts?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Making up Obligatory Fasts and Prayers

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: There was a period of my life when I was casual about my prayers and my fasts, and sometimes would even break my fasts. The fasts that I need to make up are so much that I have never kept track, nor do I see it as a possibility to go back and count, for I do not know how many days I have broken my fast.

As far as the prayers go, I see it as a possibility to calculate missed prayers, but it seems like it will take me about 5-6 years to catch up.

What can I do now to reconcile my actions of the past and to make sure to fulfill my obligations to Allah? Should I be doing the fast of dawood for the rest of my life with the intention of making up those fasts?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

First of all, one should express one’s gratitude to Allah for having inspired one with deep concern of one’s religion, a need for directing oneself to Him, and then following up with asking and seeking answers.

Secondly, one should sincerely repent to Allah for one’s mistake, seeking the divine mercy, love and care. See: A Reader on Tawba

Making up Obligatory Prayers

With regards to your prayers:

[1] Make a reasonable, safe estimate of the number of prayers that you think you have missed

[2] Make a manageable schedule, and pray them consistently, without fail

Strive to complete them as they were due (with the sunna actions) and making the intention of drawing closer to one’s Lord.

Making up Obligatory Fasts

As for your obligatory (Ramadan) fasts, you will need to:

[1] Perform a single expiation. The expiation is to fast sixty consecutive days. Ensure that either `Eid does not fall in one’s sixty day period.

[2] Next, make a reasonable, safe estimate of the number of fasts that you think you have missed. Do this by:

[a] Assuming there are thirty days of Ramadan each year

[b] Counting the number of years of Ramadan between puberty and the time one is reasonably sure that one was fasting the whole month. (For example, 15 years would be 450 fasts)

[c] Making a reasonable, safe judgement on how many of these were valid and how many were not. (For example, assuming 5 fasts were valid each year, 300 fasts would need to be made up)

[d] And then commit to fasting them until you lift them entirely from your dues.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

Turning to Allah

Use this whole period of your life as a juncture of turning to Allah, realizing the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “The one who repents from sin is like the one who never sinned.” [Ibn Maja], and committing to becoming the strong believer — firm in faith, and rooted in action.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Making Up Missed Fasts and Illness

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: If a woman has to make up many days of fasting due to illness or due to the known natural physical circumstances of a woman, and if a great number of days to make up have accumulated in the course of various years because making up was hard in her demanding job situation, is it allowed to feed the poor instead?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states. May Allah reward you for your concern for your religious practice and for your desire to please Him Most High.

The Ruling

The ruling for feeding the poor as a substitute for makeup fasts applies only to someone with a chronic illness that prevents one from fasting and that is not expected to improve for the rest of one’s life. This is to the extent that, were one in such a state to donate to the poor for missed fasts and then later improve in health (such that able to fast), one would have to make up those missed fasts. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

From your question, it would seem that, by Allah’s infinite grace, you do not have such an illness. Hence you would actually have to make up your missed fasts. This may seem daunting, as fasting is by no means an easy act of worship, but do not feel overwhelmed. These do not have to be made up before the coming Ramadan. Take your time and space out the makeups such that you perform them in a slow yet consistent manner. This could be once a week, or even once every two weeks — whatever you are able to do consistently, however little.

The Fruits

Ask Allah to make it easy for you, and try your best for His sake. This is true spiritual struggle (mujahada) for the sake of Allah, and the fruits of such struggle are innumerable. There is nothing more beloved to Allah than our obligatory duties, and performing these duties is the very foundation of drawing near to the Divine.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that Allah says, “When My servant draws near to Me by a handspan, I draw near to him by an arm’s length, and when My servant draws near to Me by an arm’s length, I draw near to him by two arms’ length, and when he comes to Me walking, I rush towards him.” [Bukhari]

If you take on this struggle for Allah, Allah Most High will rush to you — with His concern, with His favor, with His acceptance, with His good pleasure, and with His love. You will find unforeseen and unexpected provision and gifts in your life, not to mention what will await you in the afterlife.

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “Do what is correct, try your best, and rejoice!” [Bukhari]

Notice how the Prophet ended with the command to rejoice, yet didn’t mention what to rejoice over, as an indication of the immense vastness and greatness of the blessings of doing what is correct and trying one’s best. [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

Finally, specifically bear in mind Allah’s love for fasting itself, as He Most High states, “Fasting is Mine, and I shall grant reward for it. The fasting person has two delights: a delight when breaking the fast, and a delight when meeting his Lord.” [Muslim]

May Allah make this easy for you and grant you its fruits in both abodes, amin.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Using Asthma Medication: Is My Fast Invalidated?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: I take asthma medication twice a day (morning & evening). Will taking this invalidate my fast?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I pray you are well. May Allah grant us all health and well-being.

The entrance of anything with a perceptible body into the body cavity through a recognized entrance, such as the mouth, would invalidate the fast. [Shurunbulal, Maraqi al-Falah]

As such, the usage of an asthma spray, for example, while one is fasting would invalidate the fast. If it is done due to a valid medical reason one would only be required to make-up that fast later on when one possesses the ability to do so.

If one suffers from chronic asthma, which requires usage of the spray or other medicine mutliple times a day, then one would be excused from fasting and would be required to pay expiatory payments (fidya) instead. You should consult a reliable Muslim doctor on the specifics of your condition to ensure that you will not be exposing yourself to harm when fasting, and whether you will be able to use the medication at times that permit you to keep a valid fast.

Wassalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Pregnancy & Making Up Fasts: Does She Really Have To?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: There was a recent post stating that women who are pregnant must make up their fast. This differs greatly from something that I’d read in another book. I am confused and would greatly appreciate your feedback.

Answer: assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

The position of the four schools, based on clear primary texts, is that a pregnant woman must make up the obligatory fasts that she has missed. However, one does not have to do so immediately but gradually when one is able to do so without burdening oneself excessively.

The Qur’an & Making-Up Missed Fasts

Allah Most High states, “Oh believers, prescribed for you is the Fast, even as it was prescribed for those that were before you — haply you will be godfearing — for days numbered, and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then [fast] a number of other days.” [2: 184]  He Most High says elsewhere, “So let those of you, who are present at the month, fast it; and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then a number of other days.” [2: 185]

These Qur’anic verses indicate that the basis for a morally responsible individual who witnesses the month of Ramadan is the obligation to fast.

However, due to the weak nature of human beings, Allah, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, has allowed certain individuals to fast on alternative days due to certain excuses that would render fasting difficult. These excuses include (a) undertaking a legal journey and (b) sickness.

Thus, fasting these “alternative days” is obligatory. In addition to the Qur’anic verses, there is scholarly consensus that anyone who misses any obligatory fast is required to make it up, if they are capable of doing so. [Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah; Zayla`i, Tabiyin al-Haqa’iq; al-Haytami, Tuhfat al-Minhaj; ibn Qudama, al-Mughni]

Pregnancy, Sickness, & Missed Fasts

The obligation to make-up one’s missed fasts on alternative days also applies to the pregnant woman, a point upon which there is also scholarly consensus of the four schools based on the principle that any obligatory fast missed that one is capable of making up must be made up on an alternative day.

More specifically, the pregnant woman must make up her fast because the Qur’anic verse that commands fasting “a number of other days” for the “sick” person also applies to the “pregnant woman”. This is because the term “sickness” refers to any genuine hardship or harm that is feared from the act of fasting, which includes hardship from pregnancy.

Therefore, not fasting due to a genuine hardship while pregnant is akin to a “sickness”, and the ruling related to fasting during such a state is subsumed under the category of the ruling related to the fasting of the sick person. This includes being (a) allowed to break the fast when genuinely required and (b) making up such missed fasts at a later date. Thus, pregnancy is one of many subcategories of the general category of “sickness”. [Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur’an; Ibn `Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur’an; Illyish, Minah al-Khalil; Mubarakpuri, Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi]

Thus, Ibn Qudama, citing agreement on this point, states, “The upshot of this is that if the nursing and pregnant woman fear for themselves, they break the fast and make it up in accordance [with the amount they missed]. We do not know any difference of opinion relating to this between the people of knowledge, because they [s: the pregnant and nursing woman] are akin to the sick person who fears for himself.” [al-Mughni]

The Prophetic Narrative on the Issue

In addition to the explicit Qur’anic verse and scholarly consensus, there is also a Prophet narrative indicative of the pregnant woman’s obligation to make up missed fasts.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Indeed, Allah has unburdened the traveler from half of the prayer and fasting, and unburdened the pregnant and nursing woman from fasting.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]

Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas states, “Dont you see that removing the burden of fasting that He stipulated as a rule for the traveling person, He made it [s: this ruling] precisely the ruling for the pregnant and nursing woman as well… So, it is established from this that the ruling of removing the burden of fasting from the pregnant and nursing woman is akin to the ruling of removing it for the traveler, without any difference. What is known is that removing the burden of fasting from the traveler is from the perspective of being obligated to make it up due to [validly] breaking the fast, without paying compensation (fidya), and so it is necessary that this also be the ruling for the pregnant and nursing woman.” [Jassas; Ahkam al-Qur’an]

Therefore, in addition to the Qur’anic verses, this narration indicates that the pregnant woman must make-up such missed fasts as well.

The Position of the Four Schools

It has already been mentioned that there is consensus of the Sunni schools on the obligation to make-up missed obligatory fasts generally, for anyone who has missed them and is able to make them up, and that this consensus also includes the pregnant woman. This is what one will find when going through the relied-upon texts of the four schools, all of whom clearly stipulate that the pregnant woman who has missed obligatory fasts must make them up.

Among the Hanafis, this was clearly stated by Abu Bakr al-Jassas in his Ahkam al-Qur’an, Sarakhsi in his Mabsut, Quduri in his Mukhtasar, Ibn Nujaym in his Bahr al-Ra’iq, Shurunbulali in his Imdad al-Fattah, Haskafi in his Durr al-Mukhtar, Ibn `Abidin in his Hashiyah, and others. Some of these texts explicitly quote consensus on this point.

Among the Shafi`is, this was stated by Nawawi in his Minhaj, al-Khatib in his Iqna`, Ibn Hajar al-Hayatami in Tuhfat al-Minhaj, Ramli in Nihyat al-Muhtaj, and others.

Among the Hanbalis this was stated by Ibn Qudama in his al-Mughni, Ibn Muflih in al-Furu`, Mardawi in al-Insaf, and others.

Among the Malikis this was stated by Imam al-Abdari in Taj al-Iklil, Nafrawi in Fawakih al-Dawani, Shadhili’s Kifayat al-Talib, `Adawi’s Hashiya, and others.

Being Gradual & Appreciating the Blessings of Allah

If an individual has a number of missed fasts, then he or she should take gradual steps to make them up. In the Hanafi school, an individual who has not made up his fasts until next Ramadan enters is not required to pay an expiation or compensation. [ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

At the same time, one must appreciate the blessing of Allah in allowing one to make up these missed fasts, performing thereby an action of immense reward and merit.

In a narration, Allah Most High said, “Every good action is rewarded by ten times its kind, up to seven hundred times, except fasting, which is for Me, and I reward it.” [Tirmidhi, Muwatta]

One of the explanations given for this narration is that that the amount of reward earned by the one fasting is known only to Allah, and likewise only Allah is aware of the fasting person and his righteous act. Fasting is an act of sincerity, lacking the aspect of showing off, since it is hidden without any discernibly clear outward form. It allows one to imitate an angelic trait of freeing oneself from the needs of food, water, sexual intercourse, and the like. All of this is why Allah singled it out and gave it a noble status in the religion. [ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

So one should realize this, even with make up fasts. An intention can take a meager “form” or ritual and transform it into something eternal. This, coupled with genuine thankfulness towards Allah for allowing us to recognize our obligations and fulfill them opens the doors of mercy and blessings for one. We should never look at these actions as “burdens” but as opportunities that Allah thrusts at the feet of his servants indicating to them His desire to grant them good in this life and the next.

Always keep in mind what Allah has given us, among them these blessed opportunities to worship Him and make things right, and then observe what we “give” Him in return. When one contemplates on this, there is nothing one can do but say “Alhamdulilah”.

What He brings you,
What you bring Him
What a difference there is between them! [Ibn `Ata’illah, Hikam]

Wasalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Eating After Dawn & Breaking The Fast For An Invitation

Answered by Sidi `Abd al-Rahim Reasat

Question: Is expiation or just a make-up required for breaking the fast (intentionally) in the following circumstances: (a) rising (unintentionally) after Fajr time has arrived, and then taking suhur out of physical necessity, or (b) breaking the fast for a meal in which would be highly offensive not to partake? I have been advised by some very trustworthy scholars that in the instance of (b) above, in order to be permitted to break the fast and only necessitate qada, I could take the traveler’s dispensation, and make a trip of the required length. Would this “solution” also apply to (a) above, namely, rising too late and intentionally eating?

Answer: Wa ‘alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

1. Eating something intentionally in Ramadan after the time of fajr has entered would make the fast of that day invalid. If one had not intended the fast from the previous night,or prior to eating this would entail the qada of that fast without the need to perform the expiation.

However if one had a prior intention from the night before, your fast would be invalidated and an expiation would be necessary. (Maraqi al-Falah).

Not fasting, or breaking a fast because of a physical necessity is permissible under conditions the Sacred Law has laid down. Amongst them are:

– the fear of an illness occouring,
– it increasing in terms of length or severity,
– the recovery of a present illness being slowed
– a pregnant woman fearing fearing illness or death for herself or her child
– someone breastfeeding a child who fears the above for herself or the child.

One will be permitted to break a fast or not fast if one knows that any of the above will occour through the advice of a skilled muslim doctor, past experience or one considering it an overwhelming possibility. In these situations only a qada is required. [Maraqi al-Falah; Hashiya al-Tahtawi; Durr al-Mukhtar; Radd al-Muhtar]

If your eating in the morning was not for one of the above reasons then either a qada with a kaffara is due, or just a qada depending on whether one initiated the fast through intention or not.

2. Breaking a fast to partake in such a meal is not permitted during the obligatory fast during Ramadan, and doing so would necessitate a qada as well as a expiation. However if one is fasting voluntarily one may break the fast if one is a host, a guest or in order to avoid upsetting one’s parents as long it is not after the time of ‘asr. In this case, and in the situation you mentioned one should politely, yet firmly, excuse oneself.

It is permitted for the traveller to not fast as long one has initiated the journey prior to the break of dawn (Maraqi al-Falah). If one initiated the journey after Fajr it is not permitted to break the fast, however if one did so there will be no expiation. (Hashiya al-Tahtawi, Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar). This would also apply in the first scenario.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam
‘Abd al-Rahim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

When Is Expiation Required for a Fast?

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question: A sister was not encouraged to fast when she was young. Does she have to make expiation for these missed fasts in addition to making them up?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

She will only have to make up (qada) for the fasts missed after puberty. She need not fast for 60 continuous days, nor does she have to pay anything.

It should always be remembered that an expiation (kaffara) only becomes necessary upon an individual if a fast was broken deliberately (without a valid excuse) after actually starting it by eating, drinking or having sexual intercourse. As such, if a fast of Ramadan was not kept altogether, then although one will be sinful for not fasting, an expiation will not be necessary, rather one will be obliged to make up for the missed fasts.

The great Hanafi jurist (faqih), Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states while discussing the acts that make one only liable to make up for the fast and not expiation:

“If an individual broke his fast by mistake, such as whilst gargling water entered into his/her mouth unintentionally  or they woke up in the morning without making an intention of fasting .then in all these situations, only a make-up will be necessary.”

Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) whilst explaining the above states:

“(Or he woke up in the morning without making an intention to fast) … Because an expiation is only necessary upon a person who broke the fast after keeping it . (Only a make-up will be necessary) meaning there will be no expiation.” (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 2/401-406)

Therefore, in light of the above, the one who missed the obligatory fasts of Ramadan after puberty should first repent to Allah Almighty and seek His forgiveness for not fasting. Secondly, it will be necessary to make up for the fasts that were missed, although expiation will not be necessary. The person concerned should begin making up for the missed fasts as soon as possible, insha Allah.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK

Is Expiation (kaffara) Necessary For Not Fasting in Ramadan?

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question: A Muslim, ignorant of his deen, and ignorant of the importance of fasting in Ramadhan did not fast, or make niyyah to fast at all in the month for many years. Then he returned to Islam, and made tawbah for his sins and he calculated he had missed about 400 fasts in his life. Does he have to make up the 400 fasts?

Answer: Expiation (Kaffara) only becomes necessary upon an individual if a fast was broken deliberately after actually starting it by eating, drinking or having sexual intercourse. As such, if a fast of Ramadhan was not kept altogether, then although one will be sinful for not fasting, a Kaffara will not be necessary, rather one will be obliged to make up for the missed fast (qadha).

The great Hanafi jurist (faqih), Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states while discussing the acts that make one only liable to make up for the fast (qadha) and not expiation (kaffara):

“If an individual broke his fast by mistake, such as whilst gargling water entered into his mouth unintentionally…or…..or he woke up in the morning without making an intention of fasting….then in all these situations, only a Qadha will be necessary.

Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explaining the above states:

“(Or he woke up in the morning without making an intention to fast)…..Because a Kaffara is only necessary upon a person who broke the fast after keeping it…. (Only a Qadha will be necessary) meaning there will be no Kaffara. (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 2/401-406)

Therefore, in light of the above, the one who missed the obligatory fasts of Ramadhan should firstly repent to Allah Almighty and seek his forgiveness for not fasting. Secondly, it will be necessary to make up (qadha) for the 400 fasts that were missed, although a Kaffara will not be necessary. The person concerned should begin making up for the missed fasts as soon as possible, Insha Allah.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK